Chapter Seventeen

Slave to the Heart

Kagome woke up because of the immense pain radiating from her collar. The pain was like a burning liquid fire sweeping all over her body. She groaned and gasped; her face marred with pain. Just the effort of regaining consciousness was making her drowsy, she realized that sleep wouldn't come to her easily now that she was awake and experiencing this level of torture.

Someone was moving above around her. She could hear tabi gliding across wooden floors above the yells and whimpers she emitted unwillingly.

"Are you alright, Lady Kagome? What can I get for you?" A voice asked sounding worried.

The voice was somewhat familiar to her, though she couldn't concentrate long enough to recognize it; the pain kept her immobile. Her eyes rolled around their sockets behind her closed lids.

"My chest... it hurts... what happened...?" Her voice was raspy and her throat was raw like she hadn't used it in awhile.

Kagome suddenly remembered there was something important that happened. She was supposed to be somewhere, not here, somewhere unsafe. Fear worked its way slowly up her spine and a cold sweat broke across her temple. She strained herself to remember what she was forgetting, the sense of dread filled her and constricted her throat around her. Horror consumed her; over shadowing the pain.

"Inuyasha?" She gasped wildly; her eyes burst open and searched the dark for her lover.

"It's alright, Lady Kagome. He is fine, most of us are. He will be right back, please don't worry." She recognized that voice now, it was Kohaku.

That means...

"Where did Inuyasha go? Why-where is everyone? Where's Naraku?"

Sango's younger brother put his finger to his lips, gesturing for her to keep the noise down. "Everyone is fine; they are just sleeping. Please keep your voice down it's been a long journey home."

Home? Kagome looked around briefly at her surroundings; she recognized this as Inuyasha's bedroom. "But where is Inuyasha?" She whined, the combination of pain and exhaustion making her cranky; she groaned again. Pain.

Kohaku opened his mouth but was cut off when the shoji door slid open. Kagome squinted to make out the new comer. It was too dark for her poor human eyes.

"Thanks for watching her, kid. You can go get some rest now. Sango was look'n for ya." Inuyasha's deep tenor voice filled the room; any sleepiness Kagome previously felt evaporated, only leaving the dull throb of collar pain.

She wanted to reach out to him but she found moving her upper body at the moment was too painful and nearly impossible.

"Thank you, Lord Inuyasha." Kohaku bowed to Inuyasha and then turned to Kagome. "Get well, Lady Kagome." He bowed to her as well before exiting.

Kagome couldn't even make herself acknowledge Kohaku; her eyes were glued to Inuyasha's shadowed form. The shoji was hardly shut behind Kohaku before Inuyasha was laying at Kagome's side, softly stroking her cheek. Maybe it was her blinding, unconditional love for her mate or maybe his completely welcome sudden proximity but the pain seemed to reduce dramatically.

"My Kagome…" He purred, running his fingers through her hair. "You're finally awake."

Tears welled up in her eyes. "Oh, Inuyasha I'm so happy your alright!" Her vision blurred his outline. "I love you so much."

He leaned in to plant several slow kisses to her face. "I love you too, 'Gome." His arms circled her loosely and began to explore her body.

Kagome reached for him, only twitching slightly from the shooting pain in her chest; Inuyasha was more important than pain. She tugged gently at his haori and he obediently pulled her firmly against his chest; spooning his longer, harder body along her.

She waited for him to completely situate himself before she begged him for dire information that seemed to be missing from her memory.

"What happened? I-I don't remember anything. The last thing I can remember was Naraku pulling the jewel from my body... Is he gone…?"

Inuyasha's hand continued to slowly moved all over her body. "You pasted out after he..." Inuyasha stopped to search for a word, "...pulled the jewel from your body... but that bastard is finally gone. It was a team effort but we took him down. He will never come back, Kagome. He can't hurt you anymore." He buried his nose in Kagome's hair and took a deep, calming breath.

A heavy weight was mentally lifted off her. Kagome wanted to smile but there was still one more important detail she needed to know.

"Who-who did we lose?" The words were hardly a whisper. Her heart pounded against her chest; her worry was making her nauseous.

Inuyasha's hand froze momentarily on her stomach; he slowly rolled his body over Kagome's. "We lost many brave samurai and two important woman, that without their help, Naraku wouldn't have been defeated."

Rin? Oh kami, please not Rin.

"Kikyou and Kagura."

Kagome flooded with her relief, but still she shook her head. "Weren't they the bad guys? My diary said…"

She felt Inuyasha's bangs lightly shake against her forehead. "Things were different this time. After all, Sesshomaru has had 200 years to perfect things from the last time."

"They're gone? But they helped us? That's… that's so horrible." Kagome started to cry again. "Why did all this have to happen? I feel so responsible."

Inuyasha's soft lips brushed against her eyes. "Don't, this was Naraku's doing; not yours."

Kagome decided this wasn't something she could argue with Inuyasha. No matter what he would ever tell her, she would always feel responsible for all those who died to protect her... to protect the jewel...

"What happened to the jewel?" Kagome asked feeling that earlier sense of dread creep back.

Inuyasha reached into his haori and extracted a small, round object. He put it in her hand.

A physical warmth spread throughout her entire body; the lingering pain completely erased. Kagome swallowed as the immense and overwhelming power washed through her.

Wow... the pain is gone...

"The jewel? Do you think I could purify it?" She searched his face, he seemed conflicted and tense.

"I know you would have the power to… but Sesshomaru doesn't think you should."

"I don't understand."

"Something about the fate of the universe and messing up the order of things... He thinks if you purified the jewel now you wouldn't have come through the well in the future, warning all of us of its existence, freeing me, shattering the jewel and saving Naraku from getting his hands on it, or you the reincarnation of Kikyou..."

Kagome's head swirled around the idea. It was too much to concentrate on at the moment. The information was dizzying.

Inuyasha could tell all this was too much information at the moment so he leaned down and kissed Kagome softly on her lips and rolled back onto his side. She reached over to touch her mates face. They lovingly stared deeply at each other.

It was only a small peaceful silence before Kagome was crying once more. She clung tightly to Inuyasha.

"What's wrong?" He asked anxiously.

Kagome laughed lightly, shaking her head, before kissing his nose. "I just so happy. Everything is going to be alright… Finally."

He kissed her mouth more aggressively this time. "I finally have eternity with you without the threat of any enemies." He mumbled into her parted lips.

Kagome sighed and tangled her hands in his long silky hair. "So you're already completely healed?"

"Yep." He placed another heated kiss to her lips.

She sighed against him. "In that case..." She paused to roll on top of him.

Inuyasha loudly growled and moved to untie her yukata she stopped him and looked at him sheepishly. He pouted.

"Can we sleep in the tree?"

Inuyasha laughed. "This would be rather hard to do in a tree…"

Kagome blushed and then shrugged a shoulder. "It could be interesting to try…"

Inuyasha smirked and had his way. Intent to start the rest of eternity blissfully pleasing his soul, his love, his life, his mate.


It was five years after the fateful day of Naraku's true demise. Order was restored to the lands of Japan. Kagome's people of the Eastern Domain decidedly did not revolt when they heard of the sinister Lord's destruction. Instead, they glorified her and her companions. The land in the Southern Domain was taken over collectively by Lord Sesshomaru, Lord Kouga and Lady Kagome. They came to the decision to place the land into the hands of long time friends and comrades, Demon Slayer Sango and Monk Miroku. For the first time in decades, there is a true sense of unity throughout all of Japan.

Sango's brother, Kohaku was freed of the spell Naraku had him under after his demise. He is now a Demon Slayer trainer in the Southern Domain and has the most promising Demon Slayers in Japan. His memory was restored and he now lives happily with his sister and her husband.

Miroku and Sango finally settled down and started a family upon inheriting the Southern Domain. They have three aggressively perverted sons, and one wildly spirited daughter.

Kaede still serves to Lady Kagome and Lord Inuyasha. Shippo and Kohana remained with Kagome also.

Kagome scrunched her face in concentration. She tapped her brush agitatedly against her wooden box. The empty pages before her made her glower unhappily; they taunted her inability to come up with something appropriate to write.

Her uncharacteristically wide blue eyes began to wonder about the confides of the inner garden, as if searching for some inspiration.

Kagome sighed. "I guess I should just give up; it was a stupid idea anyways. I don't know how my future self was able to write in these stupid things." She set her brush down upon her ink stone and leaned back on her hands. I wonder where my-

"Ouch! Yikes, Kira! Don't hurt your papa!" Inuyasha bellowed from somewhere beyond the walls of the inner garden.

A large smile spread across Kagome's youthful face as her daughter entered the sunny area.

"Mama!" Her darling silver haired daughter exclaimed entering the garden.

"Well, hello Kira, my love!" She enclosed the small child in her arms, her wide sleeves engulfing the child's form.

Kagome briefly thanked every God she knew for not cursing her with the inability to have children like he had to her future self. Inuyasha's interpretation?: Maybe there was only meant to be so many Kagome Higurashis? She didn't know the answer herself, but boy was she glad for what ever reason that wasn't the case in her situation.

"What was that you did to your papa just now? Did you hurt him?"

Kira's wide aquatic blue eyes sparkled with excitement; they perfectly mirrored hers. "Yeah! Papa didn't think I was strong enough to jump from the roof to-"

Kagome gasped. "The roof? Oh where is your papa?"

Kira put a tiny clawed finger to her chin. "I think he went to find Hiro."

Kagome's eyebrows twitched. "Find? You mean he doesn't know where your brother is?"

Kira shook her little head, her luscious silver hair stirred around her. "Nope, is papa in trouble again mama?"

Kagome smiled evilly. "Yes, he is in a lot of trouble."

"Are you going to make him sleep at uncle Sesshy's again?"

Just that moment Inuyasha hurried into the inner garden with a frowning toddler in his arms. He plopped the chocolate haired child down in his mate's lap and sunk to the grass beside his family.

Inuyasha yawned loudly. "Gosh Kagome, I don't know how you do it. Watching them both was hard work. Hiro managed to get as far as Kaede's wing!"

Kagome smiled sweetly and kissed her son's fine hair. "Did he now?"

Inuyasha reclined to make himself more comfortable in the soft and lush grass. "Yep, didn't even see him run off."

"Oh really? You had no idea he even ran off?" Her tone turned slightly acidic.

Inuyasha popped his eyes open and flinched, only realizing too late the anger brewing violently in Kagome's eyes. His mouth hung open dumbly.

"Papa you're in trouble." Kira informed him matter-of-factly.

"Bad papa." Hiro joined in, his golden eyes accusing.

"Uh, Kagome before you get angry just remember our children are one forth demon! They can take care of themselves! And besides! Nothing bad happened!" He began to scoot away.

"Yeah like Kira jumping from the roof? Inuyasha I cant believe you!" Kagome hissed.

Hiro looked up curiously at his mother. "Don't be mad mama, I just wanted to see Nana Kaede."

Kagome was derailed a moment from her fury at Inuyasha. She looked down at her youngest. "Hiro, its dangerous to run off without papa or me."

"But Nana Kaede was telling me a story! I didn't want papa to find me." Hiro 'humphed' and crossed his small arms over his chest; the perfect Inuyasha impersonation.

Kagome kissed her son's head, trying not to smile at the likeness. Kira perked up and leaned closer to her brother.

"What story did Nana Kaede tell you?"

Hiro's eyes expanded. "The one where a magic rock made big demons come after it!"

Kira clapped her hands, "That's my favorite! Mama, do you know that story too?"

Kagome was at the moment staring at her husband across the garden, no longer with anger but something else. She shook her head to regain focus.

Inuyasha hesitatingly came back to sit next to his calmed down mate.

"Yes, I do know that story."

Hiro and Kira squealed with happiness. Kira moved over into Inuyasha's lap.

"Can you tell us the story, mama?" Hiro begged tugging on her junhitoe.

She took his hand into her larger one. "How about I have papa tell it to you? I have something I have to do."

Hiro nodded exuberantly and crawled into Inuyasha's lap also. Quietly, Kagome gathered her journal and brush. She left the room before Inuyasha started the story. Without putting the idea to conscious thought, Kagome arrived at the ancient tree in the legendary clearing with the time traveling well. She sat amongst the shade of the tree and closed her eyes. Behind her lids replayed the entire story of her life.

When she opened them again she knew what it was she was going to write about in her journal.

I am Kagome Higurashi and I was born with a destiny that changed my life.

Here is my story. Here is how it all began. Here is how it all ended. Here is how it all restarted again.

Here is a look into the life of a woman who was a slave to the heart.

Hello, hello!

I lied! I was going to make the epilogue its own chapter but since both seemed so small I just combined them for your benefit! Really, your benefit. It most likely would have been another eternity before the epilogue made it out by itself...

Goodness, it feels strange to have a full story uploaded. Yet, I guess it's not totally complete because I have to heavily revise like the whole thing, damn! But still, this is weird! I have been dragging to get it all up because a major part of me doesn't want this to end. It was fun having updates and reviews and all that! In fact, here I am writing the author's note before editing this chapter... I really don't think I can procrastinate any longer (I've already been putting off this final update for a week). I have to stop being childish and edit and upload. Gah. Boo. Rawr.

I hope everyone enjoys this piece, it was definitely something. Its weird but this last chapter, makes this story so official and personal to me. I'm more nervous than I was when I posted that very first chapter over two years ago. My heart beats rapidly and my palms sweat just thinking what people thought of my story. I just want everyone to enjoy it.

I remember when I originally started writing it I had this totally different plot and somehow I morphed into this! Go figure! It was like I was just writing nonsense but then everything just seemed to fit!

I was looking at the dates of when I was originally writing this story, like when it was still just on paper, and I am amazed at how long it has taken me to get in online. I mean, wow, I am such a slacker! I have been done with this story for almost two years! And how long this story has just been waiting to be finished online… so embarrassing for me!

I just want to thank everyone who made it through this story. Thank you, you are truly amazing! I hope you will stick with me as I have adventures with my other stories and create completely new ones. And as usual no promises on timely updates. I hate that I'm so unreliable that way… grumble!

Overall, I'm so thrilled with this story. I'm happy I was able to finish it.

Thanks again! This will not be the last of me!


Disclaimer: I do not own Inuyasha or any of it's amazing characters!